I worry a lot about raising R to be a good person, to be considerate of others and their feelings, to have manners. Dave and I try to model and praise good behavior and to gently correct bad behavior.
A lot of the time, I feel like it’s a losing battle. Sometimes she’ll throw a tantrum at the drop of a hat or lash out in anger with her hands or feet. “Please” and “thank you” still have to be prompted 80 percent of the time. It can be frustrating. She’s been such a fast learner with lots of other things – counting, ABCs, cleaning up after herself. Why is this stuff – arguably the most important stuff we will teach her – so difficult?
Then, just when I think she’ll never get it, she surprises me – shocks the hell out of me, really.
Sunday night, I made chicken tortilla soup for dinner. Nothing fancy, just vegetables and chicken and some seasonings and stuff. As she climbed into her chair, her eyes widened.
“Wow!” she said.
I smiled a little, pleased that she wasn’t shoving her plate across the table like she were playing air hockey.
We began eating, chatting and laughing and talking about visiting with her grandma, aunt and cousin who stayed with us over the weekend. When there was a lull in the conversation, she turned her sweet little face to me and smiled.
“Thanks for making dinner, Mommy.”
My eyes widened and filled with tears.
“You’re welcome, honey. I’m glad you like it.”
It was amazing. I started to cry so hard I had to remove my glasses. She continued eating, oblivious to my verklempt-ness.
She gets it – at least a little bit. And she has a sense of appreciation, and she notices that I do work hard for her and her dad.
Now if I could just get her to stop smacking me in the face when I tell her she can’t have a snack right before dinner.